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Thursday, January 16, 2014

Hertzel: Catching up with Pete Rose

Pete Rose and the Tracer Alert Hall Of Fame.

He certainly knows something about Hall of Fame players, having had 10 as teammates throughout his career and having faced 20 Hall of Fame pitchers.

The first Hall of Famer he played with was Frank Robinson, the last Hall of Famer was Barry Larkin. Then there was Johnny Bench, Joe Morgan, Tony Perez, Steve Carlton, Tom Seaver, Gary Carter, Mike Schmidt and Andre Dawson, along with Hall of Fame manager Sparky Anderson.

“I was hoping Dave Parker would make it. Vada Pinson just come up short of that 3,000 hits … and if they’re talking about Alan Trammell as a Hall of Famer, they have to talk about Davey Concepcion.”

...So who was the best of the best pitchers Rose faced in his 24-year career?

“The best pitcher, as far as being a pitcher, I ever hit against was Juan Marichal of the Giants, I thought, and I hit .341 off him. Seemed like every year he was 20-4 or 20-5. He wasn’t one of those guys who was 20 and 15 or 20 and 16. He had this high winning percentage and I think he pitched 280 complete games,” Rose said.

It was 244 complete games, with a .631 winning percentage and 2.89 career ERA.

And even though Rose hit .341 against Marichal, the right-hander struck Rose out 20 times, more than any other pitcher.

“The most competitive pitcher I ever hit against was Bob Gibson of the Cardinals. That doesn’t mean Tom Seaver wasn’t competitive or Stever Carlton wasn’t competitive, but the guy who gave me the most trouble was Koufax,” Rose proclaimed, speaking of the Dodgers’ great left-hander Sandy Koufax.

...“My first three years in the league, I believe Koufax struck out over 1,000 batters. He got 382 in ’65. I really didn’t learn to hit until after I went to Venezuela after the ’64 season. Then I started hitting .300. Most of the hits I got off Koufax were in ’65, after I started hitting .300, but there’s no question he gave me the biggest fits in the world,” Rose said.

Perhaps, but that led Luke Walker, a one-time Pittsburgh Pirate left-hander no one confused with Koufax but against whom Rose went 1 for 22, an .045 average.

“You know why I couldn’t hit him? Because I don’t even know who the hell he is,” Rose said. “I had guys like that. There’s certain guys – like, he wasn’t a Hall of Famer but Randy Jones was one of them.

Repoz Posted: January 16, 2014 at 09:04 AM | 1 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: history

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   1. TJ Posted: January 16, 2014 at 09:25 AM (#4640156)
and if they’re talking about Alan Trammell as a Hall of Famer, they have to talk about Davey Concepcion.”

How about if I say, "Davey Concepcion? Good player, but he was no Alan Trammell..." Would that qualify?

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